Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Much ado about a growing nose


imageTheatre of the absurd:Artistes of Lokadharmi rehearsing a theatre adaptation of ‘Viswavikhyathamaya Mooku’ on Tuesday. —Photo: H. Vibhu

Satire is taking the centre stage yet again with Lokadharmi Centre for Theatre Training, Research and Performance presenting a contemporary theatre adaptation of Vaikom Mohammed Basheer’s satirical story,Viswavikhyathamaya Mookku (The World-Renowned Nose).

The story — jointly dramatised and directed by Professor of Theatre in the Washington State University School of Music and Theatre Arts Terry Converse and Lokadharmi director Prof. Chandradasan — will be staged at Changampuzha Park in Edapally at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday as the culminating production of a ‘Mask Workshop’ organised by Lokadharmi.

Rendered in a mix of Malayalam and gibberish, the production will seek to heighten the satire ingrained in the Basheerian story by way of use of masks coupled with grotesque, swift movements in the performance idiom. The makers of the play maintain that the story is perfect for bringing the curtains down on an enriching workshop on masks.

Straddling the hilarious and the absurd, the nose story throws light on mass psychology that almost borders on nonsense.

It narrates the story of an idiotic cook finding himself sporting a growing nose one fine morning. The nose grows exceptionally large and evokes varied feelings, from revulsion in the beginning to adulation and reverence in the end. The growing nose costs the cook his job, but the controversial olfactory organ brings him fame and celebrity status.

The Lokadharmi production is without scenery, costumes, music and facial expression (as actors will all be masked), the production is challenging for the actors as a test of their ability to communicate and sustain the interest of the spectators without such instruments.

Hence, the production is an experiment in itself, say its makers. V.R. Selvaraj will appear as the ‘Mookan’ (the cook, the protagonist) in the production.

K.J. Sohan, chairman of the Corporation Standing Committee on Town planning, and poet S. Ramesan will be the chief guests for the staging.

Courtesy The Hindu 30 October 2012

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